With 70 Fifth Avenue landmarked, protect the entire historic area South of Union Square

Recipients

  • LPC Chair Sarah Carroll
  • Councilmember Carlina Rivera
  • Mayor Bill de Blasio

Message

Now that 70 Fifth Avenue is landmarked, please support the entire proposed South of Union Square Historic District

Dear [Decision Maker],

A remarkable concentration of sites connected to the civil rights movements of women, African Americans, and LGBTQ people, as well as important aspects of our literary, artistic, and cultural history are located in the area south of Union Square in Manhattan. Much like 70 Fifth Avenue, they deserve recognition and protection, as they are currently vulnerable to alteration, demolition, and replacement. Village Preservation has been calling for landmark designation of this area and these sites for many years, and many elected officials, civil rights groups, academics, scholars, historians, and preservationists have supported that call. I urge you to do the same.

The area south of Union Square is where critical battles for women's suffrage were led; where books that transformed the way we think about the role of women in society were published; where women first entered and transformed the medical profession; where birth control as health care was first made available to women workers; and where countless women artists, writers, dancers, activists, and musicians lived and created. Critical battles against lynching, segregation, voter disenfranchisement, racial terrorism and violence were led here. It's where Billie Holiday and many other jazz greats made their first recordings, and where many of the first integrated musical recordings were made. It's where great strides were made in ending Jim Crow segregation in employment and professional sports. It's where "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" was published, where great civil rights and cultural figures like James Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry, Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, and Paul Robeson gathered and organized. On top of all that it's where critical battles for LGBTQ rights were waged, from ending anti-gay discrimination in the federal workforce to removing homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses. The list of great artists, writers, dancers, and publishers located here who transformed our culture is unparalleled, and the history of the area extends to critical developments in the Civil War, noteworthy American families like the Roosevelts and Stuyvesants, and noteworthy innovations in the fields as diverse as photography and piano-making.

The call to recognize and landmark these sites and this area that nurtured them has been ongoing for several years now. Support for the effort has grown in all corners, but government officials who need to act to officially recognize and protect these sites have so far failed to do so. I strongly urge you to finally support this effort and ensure that these sites and this area is recognized and its great civil rights landmarks are honored and protected before more are lost.



Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]
[Your Email]

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